What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that catty teen relationships and social rivalry take center stage in Every Witch Way. A social diva uses her popularity to influence others' actions, and the fact that she's a witch only adds fuel to the fire she unleashes on her enemies, and at times on her friends. Other teens are far nicer and have higher standards of behavior, but they're usually overrun by the more domineering popularity queen. Teen romance is more flirtatious than physical, but one girl in particular turns the act of attracting the attention of boys into all-out war. Minimal parental visibility seems to enable all of this behavior .
What's the story?
In EVERY WITCH WAY, Emma Alonso (Paola Andina) arrives at Iridium High School the new kid, having just moved to Miami with her father. But she soon discovers that finding her place in a new school won't be nearly as difficult as learning to control her newfound powers as a witch, especially when they bring her into direct competition with the school's spiteful popularity queen, Maddie (Paris Smith). As Emma and Maddie vie for magical prowess, they also face off over the affections of Daniel (Nick Merico), an upstanding star athlete who just happens to be Maddie's ex-boyfriend. With both Daniel and the rank of top witch on the line, can novice Emma upstage the more experienced Maddie?
Is it any good?
The best tween-geared sitcoms are those that master the delicate balance between the reality kids know and the hilarity they imagine would spice up their lives. Add magic to the mix, and there's a real recipe for devoted viewership. Every Witch Way tries to toe that line, but devotes too much time and energy to Maddie's superficiality and spite to be considered a likable choice for this impressionable age group. And since none of Maddie's actions ever land her in hot water she can't work a spell to escape, kids never see her learn a lesson.
The show also suffers from some subpar acting and a low-budget look and feel, and the absence of even a laugh track leaves it unusually flat for a tween sitcom. And without the bells and whistles kids tend to like in their entertainment, there's nothing to distract them from the excessive superficiality and pettiness that plague many of the central characters. The bottom line? There are plenty of choices for kids' sitcoms that entertain and send better messages about social graces and relationships than this one does.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why this show portrays teen relationships like this. Do you think there's any truth to the kind of social rivalry Maddie and Emma display? Why does Maddie act like she does? What are some ways to deal with bullies like her?
Kids: Why is magic such a common plot point in movies and TV shows? How would it change your life if you had similar powers? How would you ensure you used it responsibly?
Who are your favorite TV heroes and heroines? What qualities do you admire in them? Is it always possible to learn something from what we watch on TV? Is that important?